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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Undergraduate Course: Political Economy of Korean Development (ASST10152)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Korean peninsula is known today for two extremes of political and economic development: explosive economic growth in the South, and communist dictatorship in the North. This course familiarises students with the political economy of Korea to examine the two Koreas' divergent paths. Students will consider multiple issues that highlight the relevance of the Korean political economy within broader debates over the political economy of development. What are the historical and cultural roots of Korean development? How can we assess the legacies of colonial rule, post-war reconstruction, externally-driven modernisation, and state-led development? Why was North Korea richer than South Korea for the first two decades after the Korean War? How are markets transforming North Korea? This course uses questions such as these as a vantage point to reflect upon the role of states, markets, and social forces (both local and international) in shaping economic and political developments on the Korean peninsula.
Course description This course familiarises students with the economies of the two Koreas and embeds their strategies of economic development in a broader comparative perspective. After an initial introduction to the historical development of the Korean economy, the course introduces theories of political economy which will then be used to analyse the rise and demise of the socialist economy in the North, state-led models of economic development and industrialisation in the South, the impact of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the introduction of neo-liberal policies in the South. Themes discussed will also include the role and importance of large industrial conglomerates (Chaebol), the evolution of labour unions, and their role in the demise of authoritarian rule and the post-democratisation period. The last part of the course also discusses the rise of polarisation and inequality in South Korean society and the emergence of informal markets in North Korea.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 30% mid-semester literature review (1000 words)
60% final essay (2,500 words)
10% class participation
Feedback Oral feedback within weekly seminar meetings
written feedback on a discussion board posts and formative bibliographic exercise in preparation for the final essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. identify major events in the economic history of Korea and East Asia
  2. apply key theories of the political economy of development to the Korean peninsula
  3. organise and present written arguments in a concise and clear way
  4. discuss the social and political impact of economic reforms in Korea
Reading List
Chang, Ha-Joon, The East Asian Development Experience: The Miracle, the Crisis, and the Future (London: Zed Books, 2006)
Crotty, J. "Structural Causes of the Global Financial Crisis: A Critical Assessment of the New Financial Architecture," Cambridge Journal of Economics 33, no. 4 (2009): 563-580
Evans, Peter, Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993)
Haggard, Stephan, Lim, Wonhyuk and Kim, Euysung, eds., Economic Crisis and Corporate Restructuring in Korea: Reforming the Chaebol (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
Haggard, Stephan ; Noland, Marcus, and Sen, Amartya, eds., Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid and Reform (New York : Columbia University Press, 2007)
Jeffries, Ian. Economies in Transition: A Guide to China, Cuba, Mongolia, North Korea and Vietnam at the turn of the twenty-first century (London: Routledge, 2001)
Kim, Byung-Kook and Ezra Vogel, eds., The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011)
Kim, Hyung-A and Clark Sorenson, eds., Reassessing the Park Chung Hee Era, 1961-1979: Development, Political Thought, Democracy, and Cultural Influence (Seattle: Center for Korean Studies, University of Washington, 2011)
Koo, Hagen, Korean Workers: The Culture and Politics of Class Formation (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001)
Rostow, W.W., The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971)
Shin, Gi-Wook and Michal Robinson, eds., Colonial Modernity in Korea (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Asia Center, 1999)
Stiglitz, Joseph and Shahid Yusuf, eds., Rethinking the East Asian Miracle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)
World Bank, The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993)
Woo, Jung-En, Race to the Swift: State and Finance in Korean Industrialization (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991)
Woo-Cumings, Meredith, ed. The Developmental State (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge of major theoretical approaches to the political economy of development
application of theoretical models to Korean historical developments
critical thinking to interpret and use scholarly resources
developing communication skills through essay-writing and in-class presentations
work independently and seek relevant advice and support when necessary.
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with PG
Keywordspolitical economy,developmental state,democratisation,state,markets,labour unions,Korea
Course organiserDr Holly Stephens
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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